How to End Your Work Out

 

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Sometimes the hardest part of the work out is taking the extra twenty minutes to cool down and stretch! Sometimes after a really hard work out (or even a not so hard work out) all we want to do is escape the gym, take a cold shower, and go on with our day. But STOP! Stretching and post-work out care is just as important as the actual exercises, and it benefits your joints, muscles and reduces soreness.

Stretching

Obviously, we all need to dedicate more time to stretching. After strength training or cardio, your muscles are warmed so they’re elastic and pliable. Stretching relaxes the tension exerted from the work out, and while it may not correlate to decreased injuries, it has been shown to decrease next-day soreness in hamstrings, quads and calves. Stretching also induces circulation which accelerates the healing process. Be sure to dedicate at least ten minutes to stretching and hit all major muscle groups that you just previously worked.

Stretching-Poster

Hydration

Drinking lots of water also helps decrease muscle soreness and increase strength and flexibility. If you weigh yourself before and after a workout, this is the water weight you lost and should be a minimum of water you need to drink to replenish. I follow a more simple method, which is just trying to drink my body weight in ounces of water. Keeping hydrated also curves your appetite, because sometimes your stomach tricks you into think it’s hungry when really you’re only thirsty. Check out Health’s 15 Benefits of Drinking Water.

Rollers and Massages

Ever see those big foam rollers lying around at the gym? There’s actually a use for them. Rolling your muscles out after intense work outs reduce swelling and muscle damage, as well as break up knots. Also, foam rolling helps reduce cellulite, which is just fibrous connective bands pulling fat up to the surface. By creating friction and pressure, the foam roller loosens the bands temporarily and helps stimulate circulation and excess fluids, making the skin appear smoother. If you’re conserving money and do not want to spend upwards of $100 on a massage, investing in a foam roller is definitely the price efficient option. GW HellWell has them near the blue mats, or you can purchase your own for as low as $15 on Amazon.

Once you’re done taking that extra 15-20 minutes to take care of your body, you’re free to go on with your day feeling even better than if you had skipped that cool down!

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6 thoughts on “How to End Your Work Out

  1. After being a competitive tennis player for most of my life (and now just a daily gym goer), I cannot agree more on your post regarding the cool down aspect post workout. So many injuries come from not properly stretching post workout. I use the foam rollers on a daily basis because these are especially key on preventing injuries. A tennis ball is also great for certain tight spots that the foam roller can’t always get to. If you’re someone who works out a lot (which is what it seems like!), sports massages are also great tools to loosen up tight spots. Thanks so much for sharing! I am such a big believer in stretching so this was such a great post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great tip about the rollers! My mom teaches pilates and uses them in her classes, but she recently showed me how to get a great stretch on them. Thanks for sharing- stretching is absolutely necessary and this totally reminded me of that. Sometimes I’ll do such intense cardio and completely forget about it.

  3. Kirstie M. says:

    Stretching is actually my favorite part when I go to the gym. It helps me to relax. I’ve had back problems during the summer so after my workout, I absolutely need to stretch out. I’ve never used the rollers. I don’t really know how to use them. Any tips?

  4. seadwarf says:

    Haha I love Si’s reaction at the end. Me and him definitely share a belief in work and sleeping ethics.

  5. joshsperlman says:

    I always forget to stretch after I work out. I’ve never used those rollers before because I didn’t understand how they work. I’ll have to give them a try next time I make it to the gym.

  6. Chichi says:

    Reblogged this on Three Count Sports & Fitness and commented:
    Really, really good stuff. 😀

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